How to Live Your Dream Life (Right Now!): A Practical Exercise
Hey, I'm Emilie!
A certified life coach, meditation instructor, and spiritual entrepreneur. I’m here to help you create a vibrant life around your higher purpose and heart’s desires.
You don’t have to wait to start living your best life!
In this article, I’ll share with you a very practical exercise that will help you to start living your best life right now instead of wishing and waiting for it to happen.
It’ll be especially beneficial if you are feeling stuck or dissatisfied with some aspects of your life.
I unintentionally created this exercise a few years ago at a time when I felt very unhappy with my life.
At that time, I was $12,000 in debt, trying to build a business and working in a restaurant part-time to pay the bills and pay off my debt.
During that year, I was miserable. I disliked my job and disliked my life. Plus, I had no money to travel or do anything exciting. Worse still, I owed money to the bank.
Every morning, I woke up angry and ruminated my way to work. I was grumpy, unhappy, and not a fun person to be around.
I felt stuck. And for someone like me, who is obsessed with freedom, feeling stuck is pretty much the worst.
A year passed, and in January—the time of the year when we think about our lives and make new resolutions—I decided that it was time to stop complaining and take full responsibility for my life. It was time to change my situation and, most importantly, change myself (my mindset).
That’s when I came up with this little exercise that I’m about to share with you. It helped me get out of a depressive state very quickly.
The exercise follows three steps.
Step 1: Make a List of Everything You Want to Do and Experience This Year
First, I made a list of all the things I wanted to do and experience that year. I pretended that I had an abundance of time and money.
For example, I wrote:
- Go to a meditation retreat in Bali.
- Enroll in B-School (Marie Forleo’s business school).
- Visit Sedona.
- Live in an ecovillage for a month and learn permaculture.
- Live in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the hub of digital nomads.
- Go to an ayahuasca retreat in Peru.
So, the first step is to make a list of everything you would like to do and experience this year if you had access to unlimited resources.
Step 2: Why Do You Want It?
Then, for each item on the list, I asked myself, “Why do I want it?” I asked “why” at least five times to come up with a deeper answer. I learnt that when we ask “why” several times, we usually find that what we are seeking is a feeling.
For example, when I asked myself why I wanted to visit Sedona, I got these answers:
- Because it’s a hub for adepts of metaphysics and spirituality
- Because it is said to be a place with a special energy
- Because there are many conferences and workshops that I would like to attend
- Because I’m interested in meeting and connecting with people who are interested in the same weird woohoo stuff than I am
At the end, I realized that what I wanted most was to be in an environment that would support me on my spiritual journey and in becoming more conscious.
With “attending a meditation retreat in Bali,” after asking “why” several times, I realized that what I was seeking was, once again, a connection with like-minded people and also taking some time to relax and just “be” rather than always trying to do and accomplish things. I was seeking connection and inner peace.
So, the second step in this exercise is to find out what is it that you are really seeking. Usually it’s a feeling.
Step 3: Start Feeling and Living It Now
After asking “why” for each item on my list and finding the feeling I was seeking, I brainstormed ways I could begin to experience that feeling right now, at least a little, with the resources I had.
To continue with the example of “visiting Sedona,” I began searching for meetups and other organizations and workshops in Montreal about metaphysics and spirituality. I began to attend those events and met a community of like-minded people.
As for “going to a meditation retreat in Bali,” I looked for meditation groups in Montreal and began to attend weekly. It wasn’t exactly like being in Bali, but it moved me a few steps toward my vision.
As for “living in Chiang Mai and hanging out with other entrepreneurs and the digital nomad community,” I realized that what I most wanted was to meet other entrepreneurs and feel more inspired and motivated as I was building my business (sometimes entrepreneurship can feel lonely). To move towards that vision, I began attending entrepreneurs’ meetups and other events in Montreal.
Some items on my list were out of my reach. I couldn’t experience all of them at that moment because I lacked the resources (especially money). For example, I wished I could spend the winter somewhere warmer, but since I had to pay off my debt, had no savings, and wasn’t generating enough income from my product sales to support myself, I was stuck in Montreal for the winter.
But the idea was to move at least a few steps in the direction of my vision and start feeling a bit as if it was already happening rather than remaining stagnant.
So, the third step is to find activities or ways that will make you feel like you already have what you want (at least a little) and integrate some of those activities into your schedule every week.
The Two Main Benefits of Doing This Exercise
There are two main benefits of doing this exercise.
The first benefit is empowerment. Doing this exercise got me out of my depressive state. I stopped complaining and feeling miserable.
Being a victim isn’t empowering; what is empowering is taking full responsibility of our lives and taking action to change the things we don’t like.
The second benefit is momentum. By doing even the little things that move us toward our vision, we accelerate the process of manifesting those things into our lives.
One reason for this is that we begin to believe it’s possible. Another reason is that, although it may take tremendous amounts of energy to overcome inertia and get going initially, it then takes far less energy to keep going.
The Most Significant Realization
I also realized something important that year.
It took me a year working part-time at the restaurant to pay off my debt. Six months later (six months during which I lived by the exercise that I have just shared with you), I had saved enough money to go to South East Asia and live there for almost a year. I went to a meditation retreat, visited Bali, lived in Chiang Mai, and met with a community of entrepreneurs and digital nomads.
And you know what, I didn’t feel that much more joy when I finally did all those things and went to all these places than when I attended events in Montreal.
The only difference was perhaps the sense of freedom that I felt by knowing that I could do these things because I finally had the resources to do them.
What I realized is that, often, we idealize and fantasize about some things that we believe will make us happier, but when we finally experience them, we don’t always feel as excited as we thought we would.
So why wait for things to happen to make you happy in the future? We can create happiness right now.
And this is the biggest lesson I learned from doing this exercise.
I hope you’ll give it a try and that it’ll help you feel more satisfied with your life.